The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Harris Comes Out

In the Chinese culture, when a baby reaches its one month birthday it's time to Paar-Taay!

Way back it was believed that a baby's chances of survival grew ten-fold if they can make past the one month mark. Until that milestone, the mother and baby are not allowed to leave their house, and only the very privileged can visit - why tempt fate exposing the babe to germs, fresh air, and sunshine? After one month the two were allowed outside and the entire village was invited for a banquet.

Nowadays, while a freaky few still honour the one-month-lockdown tradition, the milestone just is just an excuse to get together, eat, drink and pass around lucky money. Last Sunday Oct 9th was Harris' big day. It also was the boy's very first road trip to Victoria.

Dressed in a jaunty Doggy Suit that made him look like a lighter Rowlf from the Muppet Show, Harris was enthralled with the Ferry trip to Victoria. Bright lights, lots of people, the smell of salt air and cafeteria food; come to think of it I don't know why I'm not more enthralled.

We arrived around 8:00pm and promptly sat down for a turkey dinner. I'm not sure if my parents so much wanted to feed us, or distract us so they could play with the boy. Either way we welcomed the food and the break. After dinner we were sequestered to my parent's room for the night. It doesn't get any weirder sleeping in your parents' bed with your wife and son. Explains the crazy theological dreams I had through the night, and I'm not religious. Anyways the four of us (Patty, Harris, me and Jesus) manage to squeeze into their double bed and get to sleep.

Sunday Oct. 9th
6:00am. There's excitement in the air and Harris was pumped, too pumped. Over the course of the next 14 hours he cat-napped a total of two. His routine was interrupted too; strange room, strange people, lots of driving and visiting. By the time the big Chinese banquet rolled around he was wired and cranky. The fact he hadn't pooped for three days didn't help either.

"The celebration is in a restaurant?!? How am I going to feed him? I'm not whipping out my boob with 60 people watching." Oh yeah, didn't think that one all the way through. "It's a restaurant, so they can set-up a privacy screen or something for you to hide behind. I'll get Dad to arrange it."

5:30pm. "So where is the privacy screen?" "Oh, she can sit in the DJ Booth." "!" Good thing neither is claustrophobic because the booth was two feet by three feet. Patty was a good sport about it, and Harris didn't care. Otherwise friends and family were thrilled to finally meet Harris. He managed to calm down during the meet n' greet portion of the program, before making sure neither of us ate any dinner. A mouthful here, a mouthful there, several trips to the DJ booth and it was time to go home.

8:30pm. Changed, bathed, fed and soothed Harris finally sleeps, and doesn't stir for almost seven hours. Deprived of dinner, we rustle up some chow for ourselves.

Oct 10th
10:00am. The boy has just thundered his drawers, and his fussiness disappears almost as quickly; he's positively serene. A quick visit to the Great-Grandmas (who were ecstatic to see him), we pack up and head to the Ferry. Bowels emptied, excitement over, Harris sleeps almost the entire trip back. Patty and I eat Cheezies (a Canadian original) from the vending machine.